Losers of five straight, the Knicks sit at 16-18 and have slipped from third in the East to out of the playoff hunt. The team has a defensive rating of 107.9, which ranks 25th in the League, per NBA.com. After last night’s 115-103 loss to the Magic, head coach Jeff Hornacek called out his team for its defensive effort and said “maybe they’re not capable” of playing defense.

From the New York Post:

“I don’t think our guys aren’t trying — maybe they’re not capable,’’ Hornacek said. “I don’t know. That’s what we have to figure out. Maybe play some other guys and mix the lineup somehow.

 

“We have to find someone to play some defense. You can’t come out at the beginning and their first three baskets are 3s. You have to have better pride than that. … I think they’re trying — they must not be good enough defensively.’’ 

Carmelo Anthony made it seem like there’s plenty of time left and said he hopes Hornacek “ain’t giving up:”

“I hope he ain’t giving up — what 33 games,’’ Anthony said. “I might as well just pack my stuff now — giving up already.’’

 

Anthony declined further comment.

 

“I’d rather talk to Jeff about that — see where he’s coming from,’’ he said.

New York has a chance to make up some ground in the East this week as they play Milwaukee in a home and home series and Indiana this weekend.

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